Gary L. Flowers, a leader in civil rights issues and public policy formation, will serve as leader-in-residence at University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies during spring 2014.

Flowers is the former executive director and CEO of Black Leadership Forum Inc., an alliance of national African-American civil rights and service organizations. He was national field director and vice president of programs and public policy for the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition from 1997 – 2007. In 1999, Rainbow PUSH selected him as “National Employee of the Year.

Flowers also has served as special assistant to former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, executive director of the Old Dominion Bar Association and as a public policy analyst at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights organization founded in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy. In higher education, he has been a teaching fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics and a CLEO Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center.

His awards include the 1994 Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law’s Contribution to Democracy in South Africa Award and the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2008 Black Press Champion Award. University of Virginia gave him its 2001 Walter Ridley National Outstanding Alumni award.

He is a weekly columnist for the National Newspaper Publishers Association and regularly appears on television and radio shows on CNN, CBS News, BBC, ABC News, C-SPAN, Black Entertainment Television News, BBC Radio and Black Urban Radio Network. He launched the Black Leadership Television Network in 2009.

Flowers is founder and president of Gary Flowers & Associates, a strategic consulting firm based in Richmond and Washington, D.C.

Since its founding, the Jepson School has invited local, state and national leaders to participate in the life of the university as leaders-in-residence. Leaders are selected for professional accomplishments and demonstrated leadership. Students and faculty interact with leaders in discussions, lectures and activities.

Previous leaders-in-residence include Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, former Virginia Attorney General Mary Sue Terry, astronaut Leland Melvin and Patricia M. C. Brown, president of Johns Hopkins HealthCare.

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